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Side Project Skateboards—
Rumination on Helping Houston after Harvey

Thank you to everyone who felt or expressed concern about our wellbeing throughout Hurricane Harvey. I’m happy to report that we are fine, but I’m also profoundly saddened to see how exceptional our case is. Many people throughout our city fared much, much worse.  

On the whole, I believe Hurricane Harvey has stirred up the best in people, who have come together to help countless Houstonians in need. In addition to being incredibly inspiring for me on a personal level, these selfless acts of kindness and support have also prompted me to consider how SPS can meaningfully contribute to Houston’s recovery. 

After much thought, I’ve decided that the most beneficial way for SPS to contribute is to donate directly to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund—and I invite you to join Side Project Skateboards in supporting HHRF or any other initiative(s) devoted to helping Houston heal after Harvey

This decision is significant for me, and I want to share a bit of insight into my thought process, as I’ve received several inquiries about whether I plan to donate proceeds from SPS sales. To be abundantly clear: I am zero percent interested in pushing products to support Houston’s recovery. It doesn’t feel right or appropriate for me to contribute through commodity, even if I were to donate 100% of all proceeds (which I considered). 

For me, it comes down to the difference between donating $20 directly to the recovery effort, and spending $50 on a t-shirt knowing that $20 went to the recovery effort. In the latter scenario, the shirt serves as an indulgence or a badge to call attention to a good deed—if not both. I say this entirely without judgement, as I’ve come to this distinction through the Make America Skate Again shirt, which donates portions of the proceeds to help fund the incredible work Skateistan is doing around the world. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a product that commemorates a contribution to something you believe in—and I’m absolutely certain that this model is rooted in purely good intentions. There are plenty of brands out there that have products for you that will help Houston, but SPS will not be one of them. Instead, I encourage you to join SPS in donating directly to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, as Houstonians need help regardless of whether certain products are in stock. 

Looking forward, there’s a lot left to be done in Houston. I—and many others—feel that one of the most important and productive things Houstonians can do in the face of disaster is to get back to what we do best. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing support and consideration for Houston as a whole. It means the world.  
   

Sincerely,

Jake Eshelman
Founder & Creative Director
Side Project Skateboards